COSYN, William, of Totnes, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Dec. 1421

Family and Education

s. of Rose Cosyn. m. Elizabeth.

Offices Held


William was probably a kinsman, perhaps the son, of John Cosyn, who had been mayor of Totnes in 1394-5 and 1398-9.1 Described as ‘of Totnes, gentleman’, he is first recorded in 1417, when, along with two men from Wiltshire and Richard Marston* of Bedford he pledged £10 on behalf of John Wilton, a tenant-in-chief of the Crown who, it was alleged, had married without the King’s licence. In 1429 he and his mother, who had married one Maurice Garlond, together acquired land in and near Teignmouth, and ten years later the prior of Totnes, who had earlier granted to the Garlonds, for their lives, six closes in Totnes and on the manors of Follaton and ‘Garston’, now settled the same properties in remainder on Cosyn and his heirs for an annual rent of 16s.4d.2

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. H.R. Watkin, Totnes Priory and Town, 932.
  • 2. CCR, 1419-22, p. 59; 1429-35, p. 30; Watkin, 368, 375. It may have been the MP who was receiver of Totnes in 1447-8, but there was a younger man of the same name who could have held the office. That William, the son of Richard Cosyn, died in 1492 leaving estates worth more than £13 a year in Ashburton, Teignmouth, Totnes, Bridgetown Pomeroy, Harcombe and Dawlish (CIPM Hen. VII, i. 852).